Suzan W. Bateson has been the Executive Director of Alameda County Community Food Bank since 2001. During this time, the Food Bank has grown its budget from $3.75M to $18.7M, tripled its roster of employees, and tripled its annual food distribution to 32.5 million pounds. Under the Food Bank’s current strategic plan, Alameda County Community Food Bank—through its multitude of innovative services—will provide the equivalent of 120 million meals annually – by 2023. The organization’s success and bold approach earned it Feeding America’s national food bank of the year in 2016, and numerous other recognitions.
In 2005, Suzan was the first Food Bank leader in the nation to stop the distribution of carbonated beverages, promising her board of directors that she would replace the million-pound loss in distribution with farm-fresh produce. Since then, the Food Bank has increased its distribution of produce from 1 million to 20 million pounds annually, which accounts for more than half of the total food distributed.
Suzan is a 2017 inductee into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, which honors local outstanding women for their contributions to the community. She is currently chair of Feeding America’s Western Region and serves on the Feeding America Ending Hunger advisory committee. Suzan has formerly served as both board chair and board member of the California Association of Food Banks and was formerly a member of Feeding America’s Policy Engagement and Advocacy Committee (PEAC) advisory committee.
Suzan attended California College of the Arts and was a participant in the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. She lives in Moraga with her husband, John and their dog, Coda. In her spare time, she enjoys celebrating just about anything she (and they) can think of with her grown children and grandsons, who all live locally.